The Bronze Age is one of the 3 stages of the Metal Age , located after the Copper Age and before the Iron Age ; all of this is part of prehistory . How long ago was the bronze age?
The Bronze Age is located approximately from 4000 BC to 1500 BC . This era saw its beginnings based on the metallurgical knowledge that different civilizations had about copper, both in its extraction and in the smelting and forging techniques of this metal.
Different civilizations of this era managed to obtain bronze as a result of the alloy between 9 parts of copper and 1 of tin. The metallurgical craftsmen observed that although copper and tin were metals of soft consistency, their combination allowed a stronger metal to be obtained. This characteristic allowed bronze to be positioned as a more useful metal for its hardness and resistance compared to copper.
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Civilizations in the Bronze Age
During this stage of human history, the development and quality of life of civilizations became more remarkable . In many settlements it was increasingly common to manufacture tools and weapons of greater efficiency than those made from stone or copper. The growth of ingenuity in the manufacture of metal utensils made it possible to simplify daily activities in each society.
On the other hand, the settlements were more organized and dedicated to activities such as hunting, fishing, agriculture and cattle raising , which were developed more efficiently thanks to the integration of metal instruments to these activities. Even so, the use of bronze in the different civilizations of the era did not become popular in the same period.
Some towns came to lack raw materials and others did not have good metallurgical techniques. These circumstances prevented the rapid development of some civilizations.
However, one thing that allowed the knowledge and use of the metal to spread in the Bronze Age was trade between neighboring and distant societies . Likewise, the warlike confrontations allowed the understanding of the different techniques on the handling of metals. These circumstances allowed for a greater exchange of knowledge and raw materials, which contributed to a greater group of civilizations joining the growing development of the Bronze Age.
The Bronze Age can be divided into three outstanding stages. Each of these had different characteristics and aspects. Next, we will describe the stages in which the Bronze Age was divided.
- Ancient Bronze Age : This stage was between 1500 to 1200 BC. This period was characterized by civilizations dedicated to fishing and hunting various wild animals. During this era, agricultural and livestock activity began in a more organized way, as well as the commercialization of manufactured products and metals. It was at this stage that bronze axes began to be made, which lacked a support handle, since they were used directly by hand. Finally, different towns were characterized by the collective burial of corpses arranged in urns as a cemetery or under houses.
- Middle Bronze Age : This stage was between 1200 to 1000 BC. Throughout these years, civilizations undertook numerous trips with the intention of commercializing metals and other manufactured products. On the other hand, different peoples organized their armies in a more complex way, equipping them with higher quality weapons thanks to the presence of copper. For this period, bronze swords, knives and daggers began to be forged. Another notable advance of this era was the construction of buildings in the settlements. How long ago was the bronze age?
- Late or Final Bronze Age : This stage was between 1000 and 900 BC. It was marked by a great advance and progress of civilizations. One of the most remarkable things of the era was the construction of great forts and walls that protected large civilian settlements from war attacks. At the military level, better equipment arises due to the manufacture of a great variety of arrows, spears and swords. Likewise, different models of shields, helmets and armor were created. Due to the high knowledge of the casting and forging techniques of metals, the final stage of bronze allowed the transition to the Iron Age .
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Bronze Age Characteristics How long ago was the bronze age?
The different stages of the Bronze Age resulted in the growth and intellectual development of human civilization. Here are some of the most outstanding characteristics of that period:
- Funeral rituals : In the Bronze Age, funeral rites and worship of the deceased were common. In the beginning of the era, burials were done disorganized and in mass graves. In the middle of the era, burials were made in specific places. And at the end of the era cremation became common.
- Establishment of civilizations : During this period, societies began to settle in specific regions, leaving aside nomadic activity .
- Communication and language : The use of numbers and symbols as the primary writing style became common. How long ago was the bronze age?
- Social position : During this historical period, the social status was headed by the warriors, since in their hands was the domain and the power. Metal craftsmen and forgers also enjoyed high status as the creators of the metal contraptions of the era.
- Architecture : Although most of the constructions were simple, made of mud, wood and rocks, there were also settlements of well-structured constructions and reinforced walls that served as defense for the main towns.
- Economic development : Trade spread and developed thanks to the use of horses and carriages. Artisans contributed to the trade by making vessels, jugs, bowls, tools, decorative objects, and forging weapons. The coastal towns sold salt and other products characteristic of coastal areas. How long ago was the bronze age?